World No. 2 Japan will host No. 8 Australia for two high-profile, WBSC-sanctioned international contests scheduled for Saturday, 3 March in Nagoya and Sunday, 4 March in Osaka.
Each National Team will fill its roster exclusively with players from its own top-tier professional league, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and the Australian Baseball League (ABL) — WBSC Associate Members.
WBSC will live-stream both games at www.youtube.com/wbsc for audiences outside Japan and Australia.
WBSC and the Olympic Channel have also partnered on the two-game series. The Olympic Channel will live-stream the series as a preview of a match that could happen at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
FOX Sports Australia will broadcast both games live Down Under, while TBS and TV Asahi have acquired the series’ broadcasting rights in Japan, along with cable/online sports channel J SPORTS.
Japan-Australia: the rosters
Samurai Japan manager Atsunori Inaba announced these 28 players:
PITCHERS (13): Yuki Matsui, Takahiro Norimoto, Yuhei Takanashi (Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles), Shinji Tajima (Chunichi Dragons), Nao Higashihama, Sho Iwasaki, Kohdai Senga (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks), Yasuaki Yamasaki, Shota Imanaga, Haruhiro Hamaguchi (Yokohama DeNa Baystars), Tsuyoshi Ishizaki (Hanshin Tigers), Mizuki Hori (Hokkaido Nippom Ham Fighters), Kazuto Taguchi (Yomiuri Giants)
CATCHERS (3): Seiji Kobayashi (Yomiuri Giants), Tatsuhiro Tamura (Chiba Lotte Marines), Takuya Kai (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks)
INFIELDERS (7): Kosuke Tanaka, Ryosuke Kikuchi, Ryoma Nishikawa (Hiroshima Toyo Carp), Hideto Asamura, Shuta Tonosaki (Saitama Seibu Lions), Kenta Imamiya (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks), Yusuke Ohyama (Hanshin Tigers)
OUTFIELDERS (5): Go Matsumoto (Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters), Yuki Yanagita, Seiji Uebayashi (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks), Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh (Yokohama DeNa Baystars), Shogo Akiyama (Saitama Seibu Lions)
Australia manager Steve Fish chose these 28 players:
PITCHERS (12): Tim Atherton, Travis Blackley, Sam Holland, Ryan Searle, Matt Timms (Brisbane Bandits), Steve Kent (Canberra Cavalry), Cameron Lamb (Perth Heat), Greg Mosel, Matt Williams (Adelaide Bite), Sam Street, Josh Tols (Melbourne Aces): Todd Van Steensel (Sydney Blue Sox)
CATCHERS (3): Allan de San Miguel (Melbourne Aces), Alex Hall (Perth Heat), Kyle Perkins (Canberra Cavalry)
INFIELDERS (9): Trent D’Antonio (Sydney Blue Sox), Darryl George (Melbourne Aces), Robbie Glendinning, Luke Hughes (Perth Heat), Boss Moanaroa (Canberra Cavalry), Mitch Nilsson, Davi Sutherland, Logan Wade (Brisbane Bandits), Zac Shepherd, Yacob Younis (Sydney Blue Sox)
OUTFIELDERS (3): Andrew Campbell (Brisbane Bandits), David Kandilas (Canberra Cavalry), Tim Kennelly (Perth Heat)